Uber has been stripped of its licence to operate in London over safety breaches, Transport for London has confirmed.

It is the second time in just over two years the company has lost its licence in the UK capital after TfL found it ‘not fit and proper’.

TfL said the company had not been granted a new licence to operate in the capital after “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk” were identified.

It added it “does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time”.

It found that in at least 14,000 Uber trips, drivers had uploaded photos of themselves to the app linked to cars which they were not registered to drive, meaning passengers were being picked up by drivers not named or authorised by the company.

TfL said:

“A key issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

“This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips – putting passenger safety and security at risk.

“Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”

Another failure allowed dismissed or suspended drivers to create an Uber account and carry passengers, again compromising passenger safety and security, TfL.

The ride-hailing app firm’s existing licence expires at 11.59 pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Uber has said it will appeal the decision and will be allowed to continue to operate during the appeal process.

Helen Chapman, director of licensing, regulation and charging at TfL, said:

“As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence.

“Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”